Well-Founded Belief: New Essays on the Epistemic Basing Relation

1st Edition

J. Adam Carter, Patrick Bondy

December 18, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 344 Pages - 7 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138503755 - CAT# Y372323
Series: Routledge Studies in Epistemology

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Epistemological theories of knowledge and justification draw a crucial distinction between one’s simply having good reasons for some belief, and one’s actually basing one’s belief on good reasons. While the most natural kind of account of basing is causal in nature—a belief is based on a reason if and only if the belief is properly caused by the reason—there is hardly any widely-accepted, counterexample-free account of the basing relation among contemporary epistemologists. Further inquiry into the nature of the basing relation is therefore of paramount importance for epistemology. Without an acceptable account of the basing relation, epistemological theories remain both crucially incomplete and vulnerable to errors that can arise when authors assume an implausible view of what it takes for beliefs to be held on the basis of reasons.

Well-Founded Belief brings together seventeen essays written by leading epistemologists to explore this important topic in greater detail. The collection is divided thematically to cover a wide range of issues related to the epistemic basic relation. The first section of essays covers the nature of the basing relation and attempts to articulate defensible accounts of what it takes to believe on the basis of a reason. Section II explores the kind of things that can be reasons on the basis of which we hold beliefs. Finally, the last section addresses the basing relation as it bears on particular problems in epistemology, such as skepticism, the analysis of knowledge, and the contingencies of our epistemic upbringing.

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